Today let’s talk about rest. Rest is one of the areas of occupations that rehab therapists address. But what is rest really? What is support for new parents?
According to the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework2, Rest is described as “engaging in quiet and effortless actions that interrupt physical and mental activity, resulting in a relaxed state.” I would go even a bit further in thinking that rest is part of restoring oneself in order to return with motivation and renewed energy to daily physical, mental and social activities.
Now rest does not equal sleeping, even when that may be what we feel like we “should” be doing. The advice of “sleep when the baby sleeps” can be hard to follow when we d...
You are a new mom. You have a new baby. Birth was different than you expected or different than your last birth. You may have some pain or maybe you had surgery. You had an illness in pregnancy or you have a chronic illness. Your baby is needing more medical care and appointments than your first expected. You moved recently or experienced a lot of stress in the last year.
You love your baby and you have so many ideas and thoughts of how you want this next stage of your life to go. But something is getting in the way of how you want to do things. That barrier could be time or discomfort or something else. You have no idea where to start or how to ask for the help you need.
When expecting moms ask me how they should plan for the weeks postpartum I answer, “Plan as if you were in a car accident. What would you, MOM, want for your care?” It is not meant to scare, it is reality.
With the possible outcomes of birth, even when things go well, having a plan for postpartum can set the family up for optimal healing. It is easy to tell people they are not needed after setting them up to help than feeling isolated and alone with a crying baby and not knowing how to ask for help when everyone is messaging how happy you must be.
An ideal plan would be have friends and family or paid staff who can attend to your needs while putting their own needs aside for a few weeks but this is not the norm in our busy cultu...